Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health – Philippines

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VYLH-Philippines is a network of pro-active, service-oriented, empowering, and visionary leaders equipped with knowledge and skills in mobilizing the youth towards a healthy Philippines.
The Volunteers Youth Leaders for Health – Philippines (VYLH-Philippines) is a national collaboration of youth leaders of youth organizations in universities and communities in the Philippines. This novel undertaking is part of an international effort to establish the March of Dimes – Global Network for Maternal and Infant Health (GNMIH)participated by youth counterparts in China and Lebanon linked by the common interest of volunteerism and public service, to improve birth outcomes worldwide through advocacy. View the VYLH-Philippines Primer

Our Advocacies: In Brief

  • Increasing awareness among women in their reproductive age on the significance of folic acid supplementation in the prevention of birth defects;
  • Increasing public awareness in saving babies from mental retardation and death through newborn screening; and
  • Lobbying public support for the urgent passage of the Rare Disease Act – an act addressing the needs of patients with rare or orphan disorders.

In 2015, promoting prematurity awareness was placed as an advocacy for consideration of the network. According to the WHO, prematurity is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 worldwide. In social media, materials and infographics on global and national statistics on premature births, complications and risk factors were posted and shared in time for World Prematurity Day (November 17). One of the points highlighted in the campaign is the importance of awareness in the prevention of preterm births.

Furthermore, the network has also played an active role in promoting the concern on birth defects – awareness, prevention, care and research, as it participated as an international partner of World Birth Defects Day (March 3) this 2016.

Both birth defects and preterm births contribute to more than 40 percent of neonatal deaths in 2013(WHO). The two are also within the scope of the goals and programs of GNMIH.